On the evening of the day Jesus rose from the dead, on the first day of the week, the disciples were present behind closed and locked doors for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them, greeting them! He showed them his hands and his side, and the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus then commissioned them, saying that as the Father has sent him, even so he was sending them into the world. Having said these words, Jesus then breathed on them, commissioning them to be his witnesses and representatives.
Being absent from this appearance of our Lord, Thomas rejected the disciples’ testimony that they had seen the Lord, and said that he would not believe unless he saw and touched the wounds of the risen Jesus. Eight days later, the disciples were inside, with Thomas present, and though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them, and greeted them, again! Jesus then invited Thomas to examine his hands and side, and exhorted him not to disbelieve, but to believe. Thomas answered our Lord with an exclamation: “My Lord and my God!” Jesus replied to him: “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Our Father in heaven, who sent your Son to earth in order that we might be released from the bondage of Satan and the curse, grant us the revelation and wisdom to hold to your testimony of the risen Christ. Grant us grace to know that we receive a special blessing when we receive the testimony of his resurrection though we have not seen, and yet still believe he is alive through your power. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.
Chronological Reading for the Day
An annual reading through the Bible in the order in which the events took place
Sunday: Pss. 103; 108-110; 122; 124
Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Ps. 16
OT (Acts during Eastertide): Acts 2.14a, 22-32
Gospel: John 20.19-31
NT: 1 Pet. 1.3-9
(Click here for all readings)
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
God of Thomas the Twin, Lord who has mercy on those whose doubt and disbelief cause them to not trust you, have mercy on us, and heal us from our common tendency to forget your word and promise. Open our eyes to see you as you truly are: the Lord and King, whose Spirit has raised to new life Jesus of Nazareth, and who now desires us to believe even in the face of our own doubts. To you be all glory and honor, in your name, amen.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Eternal God and Father, reveal to us the living Christ, who rose from the grave and gave us his own Holy Spirit to lead and guide us.
“[T]he work of God demands our worship of Him. His work in Creation is beyond our comprehension, and through it, He demonstrated His redemptive plan. In Genesis, He said, “Let there be light,” thus bringing the universe from darkness to illumination. His plan of redemption brings man from darkness to illumination; that is, from ignorance to understanding of Him. Through Creation, we can know God and be recipients of all of His benefits – including our redemption!
~ Vernon Whaley, Called to Worship: The Biblical Foundations of Our Response to God’s Call. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2009. Location 13.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Messiah’s Suffering and Glory, Luke 24.13-35
Whaley, Called to Worship